I've also heard it said that sometimes the best thing you can do is recognize when it's time to quit. In this case, I don't plan on quitting any time soon. I may work doing something like fast food for a while, to bring in some dollars - good,honest work is never a bad thing. However, while I'm doing that I'm also going to keep on keepin' on. I'm going to continue to make fliers, advertise my DBT groups and therapy practice, keep working on coaching and workshop content, continue to hand out business cards and brochures and continue to call local therapists, psychologists and doctor's offices about my business. In the end, what else can I do? The bottom line is, I move. I do one thing. I use active trust and distress tolerance and emotion regulation - all my DBT skills. I network, I promote, and I advertise the best I can given my budget constraints. I take care of myself the best that I can.
Life in general is pretty much like that too. Sometimes it feels like what we do is 99% effort and 1% (or less) reward. It can be in relationships - spousal/intimate, child-parent, or even friendship - or in other areas such as when the work we're doing or the job we're at seems unbearable, or that we're lonely and nothing will ever change, or even that life and everything else is just damn overwhelming and you want to break down or hide. In any of these, that 99% perspiration comes into play. Folks, living is HARD work. Surviving is hard work. Sometimes even being aware is hard work. I'm not being facetious here, either. AND, in the end, it's worth it.
We've got to keep on keepin' on. Sure, there are ways out - alcohol/drugs and other self-destructive escapes may seem seductive at times. But in the end, we're hurting ourselves by doing these things. There just really isn't any easy way out sometimes, and sometimes the best thing you can do is gut it out and hope for the light at the end of the tunnel. And the thing is, if we look for it - REALLY look for it and accept it when we see it - it's there. The hard thing is that it may not be what we expected, or even what we wanted. That can be a pretty difficult or painful thing to accept, and accept it we must. Compromise occurs in life, too - and many times it's us doing the compromising.
AND, we move. We do one thing. We use our skills and talents, and we take care of ourselves. We "network" - we rely on each other and learn about each other and help each other. The power of each other is there for us, if we'll only see. It will eventually come and that we'll realize the reward or success in due time. Is this a guarantee? I wish it were - life would be a lot easier if we knew without a shadow of a doubt that success would arrive. How we define success is critical here, though - if success is limited to one thing - say, financial wealth - then feeling like we've failed is a lot more likely. If we define success much more broadly, we increase our chances of feeling like a success. Asking if I am a better person because I tried this or "what benefits did I get out of doing this anyway" might lead us to feel better than if we define things more narrowly. All this boils down to being resilient - no matter what happens, we can and will survive it and can thrive in spite of it.
So with me, I may not have the full-time practice that I want yet. In the end, though, my sense is that it will be worth it and that I'll be stronger for the struggle. I don't see anything wrong with working hourly labor - as I said earlier, good honest work is a good thing in my book. So, if I need to, I'm going to be seeking out work wherever I can find it AND still keep on working on my practice. I'll be using my active trust - when my heart tells me it's never going to work and I feel depressed and discouraged, I'm going to let my head take control and continue to trust that it WILL work out in the end.
The bottom line for me is that a lot of this doesn't have to be an either/or proposition. There is, and can be an "AND" in there. I can still work toward being a licensed psychologist AND work at a fast food place or bookstore or department store. I can feel disappointed, discouraged, depressed, and anxious AND still have faith and hope. And, I can keep on keepin' on, because in the end it's the journey that will matter and I want to come out of this the strongest, best person I can be. I plan on being resilient and thriving, and keepin' on keepin' on is what will get me there.